Pradeep Singh

A special POCSO Court in Cuttack on Tuesday acquitted two persons who were arrested in connection with the sensational gang rape of a minor girl at Gatiroutpatna under Chauliaganj police limits in October 2020, due to lack of evidence. 

Deciding the case today, the court found that the evidence against the accused was insufficient and therefore, acquitted the duo. It is alleged that the police failed to gather adequate evidence against the arrested persons which resulted in their acquittal.

Speaking on the case, eminent Orissa High Court lawyer Sapan Kumar Lenka said, "A case was presented before the court like fiction by the police and the CWC. The cops could not gather and submit any evidence that would nail the accused in the case. Besides, neither the victim nor did her family lodge an FIR with the police. The CWC member, who had lodged the FIR, also said that he didn’t have any concrete knowledge of the crime." 

The case was not handled properly and the necessary evidence could not be adduced which prompted the court to acquit the accused, Rakesh Rout and Santosh Behera, who are jail since October 15, 2020, said Lenka.

In October last year, the minor girl was allegedly picked up from OMP square in Cuttack and raped for several days at a poultry farm. She was rescued after some locals tipped off the police about her confinement.

The police had then nabbed the duo and City DCP Prateek Singh said the police suspected the involvement of at least one or two more persons in the crime.

Narrating the 22 days of horror in her statement, the girl said that she was repeatedly raped during her confinement.

The incident had triggered State-wide uproar with the Opposition lashing out at the Odisha government over the alleged failure in ensuring the safety and security of girls and women in the State.